This is why the power of anger is an ILLUSION. We use it because we feel powerLESS and are trying to gain it back! So at this moment I became aware of my anger and put to use the tools that have been so powerful for me the last 5 years. I followed the anger and tracked it back to my own fear. NONE of my anger was about Rachel, it was all about ME. Once I identified my fear of missing out on the date, it was EASY to let it go, because clearly there would be another time for a date if that’s what this woman wanted. The INSTANT I let go of the fear, the anger vanished, and I told Rachel in complete comfort and with a genuine smile: the car is yours as long as you want!
So how do you use this in relationships? Here’s how: ANYTIME you start to feel angry or frustrated, instead blaming the other person, ask YOURSELF this question: “what am I afraid of right now?” Go searching inside yourself and find what you are afraid of losing in that moment, or what you are afraid of not getting. Generally it’s very EASY to find this! Once you do, if your fear doesn’t go away with a laugh (like, jeez, why in the world would I be afraid of THAT???), then ask yourself, why is this so important to me? See what your answer is. This brings us to the greatest tool of all, part of which we will use to incorporate your wants list thoughts from above. Non-judgmental COMMUNICATION.
Once you start to see that your arguments and anger come from INSIDE YOU, it will free you up to judge your partner LESS. Once they feel less judged, it will lead them to more open, honest communication. Start sharing your process with the other person. It’s the same thing I did with Rachel in the example above, I told her why I got angry, the exact fear where that came from, and how I used that to let go of both the fear and then anger in a few seconds. You know what she said, in a very nice way? Well, if you told me that, I probably would have let you have the keys! A PERFECT example of how anger often leads to the EXACT OPPOSITE of what we think we want! And as Mary said in an earlier blog: don’t wait for your partner to start! YOU take the lead by doing these things and just watch how your partner will respond in the same way! The next step is to practice doing this together in a SUPER POSITIVE way whenever you 1) disagree on something or 2) you WANT something from your partner, like something on your wants list from above that you are currently not getting.
This is called a “Happy Negotiation”–this term comes from the CouplesCourse at The Option Institute (www.option.org ), which I will talk about at the end of this blog. What it means is that you each come into the negotiation from a place of comfort and love for the other person, REALLY wanting the BEST for them, while also wanting to find a way to get what YOU want. When both of you are in this frame of mind (it gets easier the more you do it), the person who initiated the desire for something starts by telling the other partner what they want. Then they ask the other partner how they feel about that and what they might be willing to ask for in return. Then partner number two talks about how they feel about this want, and suggests something they want in return for them doing this. What if it’s a “no way I’ll do that” response? The first partner can then up the ante by offering something MORE. Eventually, almost always a level is reached in which both partners agree to do the others’ want and see how it works. There are no guarantees this arrangement will last, one person might decide this really isn’t for them, or it’s not enough in return, well then just head back to the negotiating table! If there ends up being something that really is a deal-breaker for both of you, that might be the time to consider if you really DO want to keep this relationship or do you want to go for a relationship where you can get ALL that you want. If you reach that decision point, go back and re-read my blog on the decision to leave or not: (http://tinyurl.com/leavinglove ).
The final thing I would absolutely suggest is a visit to the place that helped Mary and I with the tools we use on a daily basis to make our relationship 100% joyful, comfortable, exciting, and passionate, ALL THE TIME! I know we’ve mentioned it before, but The Option Insititute is the most AMAZING teaching facility on the planet and they have a program that takes some of the things from this blog, along with MANY more tools for relationships and teaches them IN-DEPTH, in a fun, experiential way in a program called—appropriately—CouplesCourse. I HIGHLY recommend this program, there is NO WAY that your relationship won’t improve drastically after taking this program! You can find the description here: http://www.option.org/programs:couples-course,7 and if you call the most amazing Zoe at 1-800-714-2779 x133, she would LOVE to tell you all about the course. Also, if you mention you were referred by Mary or I, you will receive a significant discount off your program tuition!
So now you have some great tools to practice and use within your existing relationship to give you a whole new world of happiness, comfort, and excitement with your partner! Let us know how these work for you and feel free to post comments with any questions you may have about the tools I’ve talked about. Love and blessings to you all!